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Merkel warns of ‘hardest weeks’ as Germany tops 40,000 deaths

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned there might be approaching the ‘hardest weeks’ as Germany tops 40,000 deaths. The country recorded 465 deaths over the past 24 hours reported TheLocal.de.

The Robert Koch institute for disease control added that these high number of deaths has has raised the toll to 40,343. This is more than 1.9 million people who have been infected with almost 17,000 new cases added daily.

In her weekly video message on Saturday, Merkel said the full impact of socialising over the Christmas and New Year’s period was yet to show up in the statistics.

She warned Germans that “these next winter weeks will be the hardest phase of the pandemic” so far, with many doctors and medical staff working at their limits.

The nation of 83 million people, the bloc’s most populous, has imposed another round of restrictions to limit social contacts and help hospitals cope with a surge in patients.   More than 5,000 Covid-19 patients are currently in intensive care nationwide, with over 80 percent of intensive care beds occupied.

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With the closing down of schools, non-essential shops, culture and leisure practises at least till January 31st, Germany hopes to stabilise the number of infections and also create an ease in vaccinating citizens against COVID-19 and other strains of the virus.

Coronavirus vaccine shortage and distribution:

Merkel acknowledged the vaccine campaign had got off to a slow start, “but the tempo will pick up”, she said.

“What’s important is that we can say: we will have enough of the vaccine available for everyone in Germany,” she added.

“Month after month we will inoculate more people and eventually we will be able to offer the vaccine to anyone who wants it.” 

Merkel said the vaccines allowed for “justified hope” that the world could conquer the pandemic.  But she urged Germans to stay patient and said she was “firmly convinced” the current tough curbs on public life are “absolutely necessary.”

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